A broader concept of World Englishes for educational contexts: applying the "WE enterprise" to Japanese Higher Education Curricula
D'Angelo, James Frank
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This study investigates the application of the world Englishes (WE) paradigm to English language teaching (ELT) in the higher education context of Japan, as well as the possible application of competing paradigms that also work within a pluricentric view of English: English as an International Language (EIL) and English as a Lingua Franca (ELF). The Chukyo University Department of World Englishes (DWE), within the College of World Englishes, serves as the primary site of inquiry. A main focus of the study is to explore the development of a broader concept of World Englishes for educational contexts. A literature review of work in the three fields of WE, EIL, and ELF was conducted, as well as a literature review of leading work in the field of English language curriculum design. The literature reviews establish a baseline of what is currently known in these fields. To provide additional answers to the research questions for this study, three sets of qualitative data were obtained and analyzed: a survey of graduates of the DWE since 2006, a survey of teachers in the DWE, and a series of observations of actual classes within the DWE. A coding scheme was designed for each of the two survey instruments to facilitate their analysis, which was used to report on and analyze the survey data, as well as incorporating actual excerpts from the raw data, to better illustrate and support particular trends or commonalities expressed in the data. The classroom observations were written up in the form of ‘vignettes’ from which further analysis could be made and triangulated with the data from the two surveys. These results were then interpreted to report the findings of the study, and a series of themes were identified that showed potential areas to focus on for curriculum enhancements. These include: the overcoming of shyness in Japanese students, the insufficiency of communicative language teaching (CLT) within a 4-skills curriculum, the applicability of content and language integrated learning (CLIL) in Japanese higher education, the need for more academic and business/professional education, the concept of world mindedness, the overall relevance of the WE/EIL/ELF paradigms, and the concept of ‘Educated English’ (Kachru 2003, Bamgbose 1982), as an objective for the Expanding Circle. The concept of Educated English in particular, has heretofore been underexplored in Expanding Circle WE research. The study concludes that based on the needs of students in the DWE, and more widely in Japan and across other Expanding Circle contexts, a broader concept of WE is necessary to better inform ELT curricular and pedagogical practices. The goal of working towards educated Japanese English as an outcome is more realistic for higher proficiency, highly motivated students, and the study concludes that ELT pedagogy to realize this goal is better suited to creation of an honors track, and general track, in the DWE and other institutions. Ultimately, the thesis contributes new insights into creating a broader concept of WE, drawing on research from competing paradigms, and posits a more suitable model of English pedagogy for Expanding Circle users of English.
- Humanities 
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